This year, both a documentary and a biopic about Fred Rogers, the children’s show host better known as Mr. Rogers, are scheduled to release. Many people view Rogers as a treasured icon from their childhoods, but not everyone sees the late television star in the same light, with some blaming him for today’s “participation trophy” culture.
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During an episode of Fox & Friends, the hosts took the latter position, suggesting Rogers was responsible for a sense of “inflated” self-esteem, which they said was a “generational” issue for which the television star was, at least, somewhat accountable.
“This evil, evil man has now ruined a generation of kids,” said one female host.
Another host continued the sentiment, stating, “Experts are saying the kids of today who grew up with Mr. Rogers were told by him, ‘You’re special just for being who you are.’”
The host then goes on to say that the “problem” is that Rogers “didn’t say if you want to be special you’re going to have to work hard.”
“Now all these kids are growing up, and they’re realizing, ‘hey, wait a minute. Mr. Rogers lied to me. I’m not special. I’m trying hard, and I’m not getting anywhere.’”
The female host then references a professor from Louisiana State University who “examined just what damage Mr. Rogers may have done to this whole crop of kids who now feel entitled just for being them.”
“Yeah, the world owes you nothing,” the male host later adds. “So, now, for all these people, these kids going to college and say, ‘Okay, I got a B, I need an A because I’m special,’ they don’t know you gotta work hard for it.”
The hosts target Roger’s message, saying he spread an “optimistic message where everyone was special, even if they didn’t deserve it.”
They did add that Rogers “unintentionally did a whole generation or two a disservice.”
The study referenced in the discussion was conducted by Professor Don Chance, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, who said that students asking him for extra points so they could have an A inspired his perspective.
“They felt so entitled,” said Chance. “And it just hit me. We can blame Mr. Rogers.”
He said that the reason they “hit you up for an A” is that “they came to a class and feel they worked hard.”
“The world owes you nothing,” Chance adds. “You have to work and compete. If you want to be special, you’ll have to prove it.”
h/t Boing Boing